Career

Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2020 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G

Teaching with technology

Teaching with technology


It’s 10am at Nossal High School and the halls are empty. Classrooms are silent and there is no line up for the canteen. No, it’s not the weekend it’s ‘digital delivery day’.

Since 2015 students at the selective school in suburban Melbourne have been given the ultimate freedom – the choice to stay home and connect via video conference to class.

ACU alumna Emma Winton teaches at Nossal and says the school is reinventing how teachers interact with students.

“Nossal is very innovative with its use of digital technology. We are the largest user of Microsoft Teams in the world, which I feel has revolutionised how teachers deliver lessons,” said Emma.

“Each of my classes has a ‘channel’ on Teams, where I can directly communicate with students, upload files, create surveys and receive and grade  assessments. Using Teams has streamlined how students and teachers communicate and has also significantly cut down on my need to print hard copies of work for classes.

“The ‘digital delivery days’, are great for students to learn time management and self-motivation, while also teaching them video conferencing skills. I can view students’ work remotely and give them immediate feedback. I have been experimenting with setting up conference call groups within a class, like how students work together as a group in a classroom.”

Chasing challenges

Emma didn’t always want to be a teacher, but as the end of high school approached, she found she didn’t want to leave.

“Towards the end of year 12, I realised how much I loved being in a school environment and being in a place where no two days looked the same,” she said.

“I chose secondary teaching because I don’t have the patience for primary school students. It’s great to come to work and build relationships with funny, clever and interesting young people. On a daily basis, my job is filled with fun, laughter, perseverance through difficulties, and stimulating and thoughtful conversations.

Emma Winton

“But there are challenges of course, such as the increasing demands on teachers by the ever-expanding curriculum, which still needs to be completed in one academic year. It is always a challenge to support Year 12 students through their final year of high school, but it is very satisfying to see another graduating class of students head off to university and beyond.” 

Learning teaching

When it was time for Emma to select her own university, it was industry connections and a welcoming environment that drew her to ACU Melbourne.

“I chose ACU because of the smaller student population and the intimate feel of the campus. I felt that I wouldn’t simply be a number or one of the crowd and that my lecturers and tutors would know me personally,” she said.

“ACU’s connections with many partner universities, including Mary Immaculate College in Ireland, was a benefit that I took advantage of. I really enjoyed my time living and studying overseas, immersing myself in a different culture and meeting a great variety of students. 

“The placements that ACU was able to secure for me to complete my Bachelor of Teaching really assisted me to develop teaching strategies, behaviour management skills and exposure to a variety of different schools in Melbourne. And this ultimately led me to Nossal.”

Educating excellently

Nossal is one of only four academically selective high schools in Victoria and is designed to suit mature, academically-focussed and highly aspirational students. 

“Because our students are extremely academic, I find that my role is not so much ‘deliverer of learning’, but collaborator, co-researcher and sounding board for them to bounce their ideas and theories off,” Emma said.

“We allow our students a great deal of agency and individuality in their learning programs, so I largely facilitate their inquiries and explorations. I find that my pastoral care of students is vital to supporting them in achieving their academic goals. I always feel touched when a student says that they have appreciated me just being there for them.

“I’m lucky that I always feel like I make a positive difference in my work. I strive to make school feel like a welcoming and supportive environment where students can challenge themselves, make mistakes and develop their learning – and want to do it all again the next day.”

Find out where a teaching degree at ACU can take you.

Related stories

Impact brings you compelling stories, inspiring research, and big ideas from ACU. It's about the impact we’re having on our communities, and our Mission in action. It’s a practical resource for career, life and study.

At ACU it’s education, but not as you know it. We stand up for people in need, and causes that matter.

If you have a story idea or just want to say hello, do contact us.

Copyright@ Australian Catholic University 1998-2020 | ABN 15 050 192 660 CRICOS Reg: 00004G